In an address to the nation on Tuesday, Saudi Arabia's King Salman announced that the kingdom's budget for 2018 will be the largest in its history, Arab News reported

"Government expenditure will next year amount to a projected SR978 billion ($260.8 billion), up from SR890 billion this year. Additional spending by development funds is set to bring total public expenditure to more than SR1.1 trillion in 2018," the English-language daily wrote

Even though Saudi Arabia has set aside its highest-ever budget for spending, its financial deficits are expected to see further drops in 2018. 

The deficit for the forthcoming year is expected to be SR195 billion ($52 billion,) compared to an estimated SR230 billion ($61 billion) in 2017.  

With that, 2018 will be the fifth year the kingdom records budget shortfalls since oil prices dropped in 2014. 

However, things will start shaping up in the next few years and according to the newly released budget statement, the kingdom is expected to balance out all deficits by 2023. 

In his statement on the matter, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman highlighted this point, stating that the kingdom is fully focused on reducing the percentage of its deficits. 

“Improving the living standard of citizens and diversifying the economy are our goal. We aim to reduce the budget deficit next year to be less than 8 percent of GDP despite the large and expansionary budget," he said.

“We will achieve financial stability by stimulating the private sector to generate more jobs," he explained, adding that already implemented programs under Vision 2030, generated "tangible results."

Big percentage of the budget goes towards advancing Vision 2030

In his budget statement, King Salman said the budget aims to support the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reforms, which aim to diversify the country's economy and build sustainable growth.

“Dozens of programs have been launched to realize the goals of diversifying the economic base and empower the private sector to play a major role, in sustaining expenditure efficiency, in order to realize appropriate economic growth rates, mitigate the burden on the citizens and tackle possible impacts, in addition to supporting the private sector,” he explained

Other than supporting programs launched under Vision 2030, the budget will also include "allocations for housing, government spending to spur growth, and measures to provide more employment opportunities for male and female citizens."

Saudis react to the news on Twitter

Source: Twitter_EF

While a few weren't too excited about it...

"What will we benefit out of this budget... nothing other than an increase in our energy bills and taxes." 

Many hailed the latest announcement

"A great start to finding alternatives to petrol"


"It's close to a trillion, mashallah."